Staub is a well established techno concept in the form of a monthly day party at About Blank in Berlin. Founded by DJ and producer duo I/Y & and a few friends, Staub is now getting ready to release vinyl on their imprint, premiering with Staub 001 this Saturday, April 30th. I had one of the masterminds behind the concept, Irakli Kiziria, answer some questions about the release and Staub at large.
To commemorate the coming of the first Staup EP, you are respectfully enjoined to read out loud the few following words from the book of Staub, traditionally chanted one Saturday every month in Berlin: Music to music, techno to techno, Staub to Staub
Irakli, tell us what made you decide to take the Staub concept onto an EP release, and how you think it might resemble the sound and atmosphere of Staub as a party and techno concept?
Hi, first of all thanks for your interest and that we are able to share some thoughts about the party, concept and the release. Probably we should briefly explain the idea behind Staub: It’s a party where we don’t announce the line-up and lot of newcomer artists get a chance to perform. Everyone gets the same fee (it depends on amount we get at the door). So even bigger names get the same as the newcomers, because people come for the party and they trust in quality, rather than names. So this creates a different (special) atmosphere than at other usual parties, and I think atmosphere is the very key element of the party. It’s also not an easy thing to achieve; it is a big responsibility to choose the artists, to trust them to fit the dramaturgy of the party.
About the Staub EP release – we asked artists who are very familiar with Staub (they all played and are regular guests) to send us their music, that they believed represents the sound of Staub. Of course you can not make a screenshot (or copy and paste) an atmosphere, it is something you feel and each of us has a different perception. But that different view of the same “thing” is what makes repetitive (dance) music so exciting.
It makes me think about post modern art and artists reluctance to not name their work, naming it [untitled] instead, as the tracks on the EP only appear with a/b side and track number, and no artist name. As I/Y you are also known for naming your tracks with only numbers. Are you stating this way that one should not fall into conformity, having a title limiting the interpretation of art and music?
Not naming/labeling things gives us possibilities to find or see our own reflection, ideas and interpretations of it. Everyone is free to use imagination, see colors, forms and narratives into it. It’s kind of giving freedom to dive into the personal sea of thoughts and interpretations.
Next to being a DJ and producer you are also a designer, making most of the design and artwork for the concepts you are involved in. I feel like you manage to combine music, art, visuals and atmosphere as a larger concept in an interesting manner. Do you have as an ambition to show the world, or maybe just as mind-set, that techno is more than just music?
I would not say that techno is more than just music, because I think music is a very big concept. Music is probably the most emotional form of art. I think it doesn’t really matter which form or medium I use to express my thought, ideas and concepts. It is more important what you want to communicate with the world, or even universe.
To focus on techno as a concept; I think I have very visual attitude to it, I always see structures, forms and colors into it. Music can be very visual and with techno spesifically because it is very accessible in its ability to change the perception of the listeners. Many techno listeners/dancers observe music through their body. This information we receive is processed in our minds. So this kind of interrelationship creates more access to deeper understanding of tones, sounds and their interpretations. Techno is very pure and honest, sometimes very simple. But because of its simplicity/minimalism it can also be a very strong statement.
Having the honour to be at one of the first Staub parties, I felt it was a nice, intimate alternative to the bigger techno clubs like Berghain. Three years later there’s a Berghain worthy long queue for the Staub party – midday Saturday, and always very busy inside. While the music is still brilliant of course, this is quite illustrative to the huge hype techno and Berlin is experiencing throughout those years. Are you of the same opinion that things blew up (too much), or are you able to enjoy the attention the scene and the music is getting?
I am happy more people are interested in techno, of course it’s kind of a hype and hype always has something not real to it. But at the same time, if you do something as more than just functional fun and you are able to make deeper wholes in the minds of listeners; it’s the best means to reach a wider audience. To give them more information and access their minds, and maybe educate them. The main task for Staub is to keep being the same concept. And as long as the atmosphere is great, we are happy to welcome everyone.
With all these serious questions behind us – one of the things I admire about you and Yacoub is your very natural and informal personalities. You’re probably the least obnoxious people I know, still being what one might call successful DJs and music industry people.
I think humor is an important part of life. If you can not laugh about yourself you are missing out on something. We can be very serious but also have fun. I don’t like to talk about music as an industry, business or job, it looses its power and magic, becoming something you can make Excel sheets or Powerpoint presentation out of. Music is about emotions, not charts. I think we just do what we believe in, making what we think someone could listen, dance to and enjoy. Nothing else matters.
One last question – Will the world see further releases from the book of Staub? Any gems coming up in your techno future?
We are constantly searching for new directions and formats. Let’s see where we end up. It’s better to first create or do something and talk about it after. So get ready for new releases and more surprises.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, WE GIVE YOU THE WORLD PREMIERE OF THE MUSIC VIDEO TO A1, THE FIRST TRACK OF THE EP:
Irakli: The video was made for A1 by Jara Mamaladze – the guy impressed us with his amazing visuals at a warehouse party we played a couple of months ago.